Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic: Effects of optimism and uncertainty on distress during the lockdown in Spain

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Abstract
The objective of this study is to make a quick assessment of the psychological resources and emotionaldistress of the general population locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic (in Catalonia, Spain), andto observe their evolution over the course of two waves during lockdown: at two weeks and at one month(April 1th to 3th and April 17th to 19th). The longitudinal study collected data from 29,231 participants aged18 or older through an online platform who answered questions which evaluated: optimism, uncertainty,perceived competence, self-efficacy, emotional distress, current job situation, sadness and anger in conjunctionwith sociodemographic variables. The main results indicated that general beliefs about the future,uncertainty, and optimism, together with beliefs about one’s own conduct, such as perceived competencewhen facing the situation or self-efficacy to maintain routines, could predict the emotional distress experiencedby an individual. A clear gender pattern was found. Between the two waves, optimism, perceivedcompetence to manage the situation and self-efficacy to maintain routines decrease, uncertainty grows,and emotional distress remains. Taking these results into account we can prevent possible emotional scarsand offer coping strategies to overcome the pandemic and the future situations of confinement in a moreefficient way.
Keywords
Year of Publication
2022
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
28
Issue
2
Number of Pages
100-107
Date Published
03/2022
Type of Article
Journal Article
ISSN Number
1134-7937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
DOI
10.5093/anyes2022a11